Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Today with Concerts & Events (2024)

Best Things to Do in Los Angeles Today with Concerts & Events (1)

Discover these things to do in L.A. today—including free and cheap concerts, screenings, shows, parties and more

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Time Out Los Angeles editors

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Looking for last-minute plans? Figuring out how to stop from slipping into yet another night on the couch? Find out the best things to do today in Los Angeles with picks for our favoritescreenings, concertsmuseum exhibitionsand more.

Sometimes, you make plans to go out months in advance. Other times, you’re left scrambling for plans a few hours from now—consider this your social emergency savior for those situations. Sostay occupied no matter what day it is with thesethings to do in Los Angeles today.

(On the other hand, if you’re a bit more of a planner, you can also check out our calendars for things to do this weekand weekend, as well as our month-by-month overview of events below.)

RECOMMENDED: Full Los Angeles events calendar

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Things to do in Los Angeles today

Photograph: Courtesy Rooftop Cinema Club
Rooftop Cinema Club
  • Movies
  • price 2 of 4

  • Downtown

The masters of alfresco rooftop movie viewing have returned for another season of screeningsto LEVEL in Downtown L.A. Known for excellent film choices and a steady supply of snacks and booze, Rooftop Cinema Club is your snazzy, comfortable and less stressful alternative to other outdoor movie screenings. You don’t even need to bring your own camping chair—Rooftop Cinema Club provides you with your very own comfy lawn chair(with optional blankets for purchase to up the coziness). And instead of listening to the movie over loudspeakers, you’ll get a set of wireless headphones so you never have to miss a word.This spring and summer, look out for a slate of wedding season picks and AAPI Heritage Month selections in May, as well as Pride and Black Music Month screenings in June. Also, select “wooftop” screenings will be dog-friendly starting in May.Find the full schedule on their site, or in our outdoor movie calendar.

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Photograph: Courtesy Japan House
Yes, Kawaii is Art -Express Yourself-
  • Art
  • Installation
  • price 0 of 4

  • Hollywood

Hollywood’s Japan House has tapped artistSebastian Masuda to dive into the roots of all things cute and colorful with this exhibition on Japanese kawaii culture. The free show includes multiple pieces and installations from Masuda.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak
  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • price 2 of 4

  • Westside

Let the wild rumpus start at this celebration of beloved children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak. The Skirball Cultural Centeris displaying more than 150 sketches, storyboards and paintings from theWhere the Wild Things Are creator.“Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak” debuted at theColumbus Museum of Art in 2022 and has since sailed off (metaphorically speaking) to visit L.A. from April 18 through September 1.As you might expect, Where the Wild Things Arereceives the biggest spotlight in the exhibition, with beautiful crosshatched artwork, translations of books, monster-themed merch and even costumes from the Spike Jonze film.In addition to his own books,In the Night Kitchen andOutside Over There among them, the exhibitionalso features artthat Sendakcreated for a handful of other authors,most notably Else Holmelund Minarik’sLittle Bear, as well designs for Mozart operas. The showalso focuses on his personal and family life, with insight on his Jewish upbringing, some very early drawings (including one of Mickey Mouse he created when he was just six years old) and lots about how his beloved dogs inspired and integrated into his books.Admission costs $18 for adults, with discounts for students, seniors and children; it’s completely free to visit on Thursdays. Look out for the adorable living room setup near the entrance, too—it hosts story time Thursday through Sunday at 3pm.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
Best in Low: Lowrider Icons of the Street and Show
  • Things to do
  • Exhibitions
  • price 2 of 4

  • Miracle Mile

It’s more than just the low clearance: This exhibition at the Petersen explores the custom paint, engraving, upholstery and, of course, thegravity-defying suspension of the lowrider scene. In addition to iconic cars, the exhibit spotlights influentialartists inthe Chicano lowrider art scene. Even if you have no interest in cars, this colorful showcase of 20-plus lowered cars and bikes is excellent: The candy-colored paint jobs are dazzling, and the craftsmanship of the customizations—many vehicles are on display with their enginesand undercarriages visible—is remarkable. You’ll learn a little bit of history here, how the “low and slow” movement is rooted in the postwar Mexican American zoot suit counterculture, but largely this is an excuse to ogle someL.A. automotive icons.

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Photograph: Courtesy Gina Cholick/Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County
Butterfly Pavilion at the Natural History Museum
  • Things to do
  • price 1 of 4

  • USC/Exposition Park

Nature lovers rejoice! Spend a day at the Natural History Museum’s Butterfly Pavilion, which will openfrom March 17 throughAugust 25 withup to 30 butterfly and moth species and an assortment of California plants. The seasonal outdoor exhibit allows for adults and children alike to witness nature up close—we’re talking having bufferlies take flight and land on your arms or shoulders. Prime time for these unique butterfly flight experiences are between 10 and 11am each morning.

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Photo by Joshua White/JWPictures,courtesy of The Broad.
Mickalene Thomas: All About Love
  • Art
  • price 2 of 4

  • Downtown

Best known for her rhinestone-studded paintings of Black women, collages of old Jet Magazine spreads and revisions of historic paintings, Thomas’s large-scale works (80 of them from the past two decades)are on display at theBroad. The Downtown museum’s transportive exhibition includes recreations of the elaborate tableaus that Thomas often poses her models in—including a pair of scenes of her mother’s New Jersey home that start the exhibition. Those intimate details run throughout, including in a living room-like lounge in the show’s largest gallery, as well as stacks of books from Black feminist and queer writers that’ve been placed throughout. Swing by on Thursday evenings for free entry, but on any other day, the exhibition is absolutely worth the $22 cost of entry.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
ED RUSCHA / NOW THEN
  • Art
  • Painting
  • price 1 of 4

  • Miracle Mile

Oof. Honk. Spam. Ed Ruscha’s laconic canvases are familiar fixtures for L.A. museumgoers, and LACMA hasbrought them all together in this major, floor-fillingretrospective. Ruscha’s background in commercial art is evident in the big, bold text that draws your attention in his earliest Pop art paintings. But so too is his fascination with urbanism and infrastructure: the vibrant colors andsharp angles of his Standard station paintings, the black-and-white shapes of his catalog of L.A. apartments, the mesmerizing aerial shots of some of L.A.’s largest parking lots and his meticulous photos of the Sunset Strip. The retrospective also presents the opportunity to see the fiery paintingLos Angeles County Museum of Art on Fire on display at LACMA for the first time ever, as well asa reconstruction of his Chocolate Room (which, yes, is a distinct-smelling room made out sheets upon sheets of chocolate).

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
SOAR
  • Things to do
  • price 2 of 4

  • Rancho Palos Verdes/Rolling Hills Estates

Walk through a pavilion of fluttering butterflies and peep a chamber with pupae and caterpillars at South Coast Botanic Garden’sseasonal exhibition.For an extra $6, you can pick up a flower vial or ring filled with nectar to attract and feed butterflies.

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Photograph: Michael Juliano for Time Out
David Zwirner: 30 Years
  • Art
  • price 0 of 4

  • East Hollywood

David Zwirner has onlyhad an L.A. gallery for about a year—plus a new flagship that opens with this show—but the gallerist’s history stretches back three decades elsewhere around the globe. To celebrate, you’ll find works by all of the gallery’s artists across its three L.A. buildings, includingNjideka Akunyili Crosby, Josef Alberts, Diane Arbus, Ruth Asawa, R. Crumb, Dan Flavin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Donald Judd, Toba Khedoori, Paul Klee, Barbara Kruger, Yayoi Kusama, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra and more.

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